BEARS SIGN BRITTON: The Bears agreed to terms with tackle Eben Britton on a one-year contract Thursday.
The 6-foot-6, 308-pound Britton has started 34 of 50 games over five seasons (2009-12) with the Jaguars and Bears (2013) after being selected by Jacksonville in the second round (39th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft.
During his NFL career, Britton started 23 games at right tackle, seven at left guard and four as a sixth eligible lineman.
In 2013, Britton appeared in the final 13 games of the season for the Bears starting four of them as a sixth eligible lineman.
FORMER VU KEEPER ZOBECK SIGNS WITH COSMOS: Former Valparaiso goalie Kyle Zobeck has signed with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League.
Zobeck, who was selected by FC Dallas in the second round of the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft, was invited to go with the Cosmos during their preseason exhibition tour in Dubai.
Zobeck finished his collegiate career as Valparaiso's all-time leader in goals against average (0.92) and shutouts (23). In 2011, he set single-season records in goals against (0.66) and shutouts (11), earning him Horizon League Goalkeeper of the Year. Zobeck won that award again the next season.
MARSHALL, MCDERMOTT TAKE HOME AP AWARDS: Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall was the runaway winner of the AP coach of the year award.
Marshall received 44 votes for coach of the year. Tony Bennett of Virginia got 13, followed by Florida's Billy Donovan with six and Michigan's John Beilein and SMU's Larry Brown with one each.
Creighton star Doug McDermott was a near-unanimous pick as the AP player of the year after a senior season that left him the fifth-leading scorer in Division I history.
McDermott received all but one vote from the 65-member panel that votes for the Top 25. Russ Smith of Louisville received the only dissenting vote.
SAMPSON INTRODUCED AS HOUSTON'S COACH: Kelvin Sampson is taking over as Houston's new basketball coach, vowing that NCAA compliance will be his staff's highest priority.
Sampson committed numerous NCAA violations regarding impermissible calls to recruits at both Oklahoma and Indiana, resulting in a five-year show cause order from the NCAA in 2008 which effectively barred him from coaching in college. That order expired last year.
Sampson didn't shy away from his checkered past when he was introduced Thursday as the successor to James Dickey, who resigned last month citing family issues.
Sampson opened his comments by saying: "Mistakes were made, lessons were learned, while I don't agree with all the conclusions that the NCAA made, I respect their decision and respect the NCAA as an institution."
MICKELSON AMONG LEADERS AT HOUSTON OPEN: Phil Mickelson is among the leaders after shooting a bogey-free 4-under par 68 in his opening round of the Houston Open, showing no effects of the muscle pull that forced him to withdraw from last week's Texas Open.
The five-time major winner, who practiced at Augusta National for two days this week in advance of the Masters, is three shots back of leaders Bill Haas and Charley Hoffman — both who shot 7-under 65.
Keegan Bradley and Matt Kuchar lead a group of five golfers at 6 under after Thursday's play.
Former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, playing in the afternoon on the 7,441-yard Golf Club of Houston, finished with a 2-under 70— five shots back of the lead.
SHANSHAN FENG LEADS KRAFT NABISCO: Michelle Wie let a couple of shots slip away late Thursday afternoon in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, leaving her a shot behind Shanshan Feng.
Tied for the lead after playing a four-hole stretch in 5 under, Wie lipped out a 3-foot par putt on the par-3 17th and settled for par and a 5-under 67 after her wedge approach released long on the par-5 18th.
Feng shot a 66 in perfect morning conditions at Mission Hills in the first major championship of the year. The 24-year-old Chinese player had seven birdies and a bogey.
Se Ri Pak birdied her final hole in the afternoon to match Wie at 67.
Angel Yin, a 15-year-old amateur from the Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia, was another stroke back at 68 with Amy Yang.
SINGLE-GAME RAILCATS TICKETS GO ON SALE THURSDAY: RailCats single-game tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday.
For details, call (219) 882-2255, or go to www.railcatsbaseball.com.